Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Weekend to Sew.

Therapy at last.  I got 2 1/2 days of time in Temecula, Ca at Vina Lestonnac.. a favorite retreat of quilters.   Okay.. this is a beautiful place surrounded by vineyards and horse ranches.

Thanks to my hubbys daughter and some friends who checked in on him, took him to church, etc.... I got to take care of Me for a couple days. HEAVEN....
This is the third block of 9 from the QN My Christmas Album pattern... I stayed true to the pattern but admit I wasn't crazy about this  one so I used a variety of fabrics  to avoid being serious about this vase of poinsettias. .

Then came ornaments....  made in kind of a color wheel orientation for me. You can see I'm not feeling bound by a Christmas color scheme. 
Then Candy Canes. Why go strictly red and white? 
and HOLLY!
Egads... these snowflakes took forever. 
I've started laying out the sweater borders but had one more block to finish.  
These LITTLE gingerbread guys took a long time. 

and finally... the big picture is done.... using every bold color possible. 
I made this for fun... along with other members of my friendship group the Wanabe Quilters of Orange County Ca.  I can't wait to see everyones put together. For once, I'm a couple months early. 
yeah... a sense of completion.... at least until I'm able to quilt it. 

Moving Forward

There is so much to do in our mountain canyon ( and still with my wheelchair-bound hubby and I living in my studio off the mountain)  A rock slide is destroying my hubby's glass workshop. This  photo is the day after the flood.

The rock slide continues to press downhill tho it will  have to wait til Ray is on his feet and we are back home. 

A large boulder  decided to try a break in to the very back side of the house (the back at the bottom of the steep grade of the mountain).
By the grace of 4  young men from the Mormon Church... I was able to  get a temporary fix til we can get back home. I see new siding in our future. :-) 
The immediate things taken care of. Praise God.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mother natures fury!

This is today's view from our bedroom window.  The marked car sits atop mud and debris that filled the waterfall pool we have enjoyed prior to the freak flash flood in Mt Baldy, Ca  yesterday afternoon. 4"  in less than an hour brought a wall of water down our narrow canyon. The car here is my neighbors to our uphill left.
The stream bed is usually 8 feet or so below the once walking bridge which washed downstream yesterday. All thats left of the bridge is one steel beam.  Our house is to the left, beyond the covered vehicle that only stayed put because my hubby had 1) built some large stone walls that diverted flood waters, and 2) had his vehicle nose against a big rock wall.  The car in the previous pic was parked just above where the white bulldozer is in this pic.
About a hundred feet further down the canyon was this car. This is the vehicle that contained the  48 yr old visiting hiker that was trying to leave the canyon. He didn't make it. News coverage taking place in this photo.
Most people on the mountain and many in Claremont ( the city at the base of the mountain) know this car. Runr Dad...  Hubby Ray is a lifelong runner... presently in a wheelchair from  a driver hitting him as he walked along a road in Kenya last month.  6 broken bones and 1 unhappy guy.  I couldn't get his wheelchair up the canyon road to our house today. We'd been off the mountain when the storm hit... staying somewhat uncomfortably at my studio while he recovers. This has been an exciting summer to say the least. Lots of outside the house cleanup that will just have to be put on hold.
No quilts lost.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Beauty to be found

The last few weeks have been a challenge both artistically and personally.. one affected by the other.  Hubby hit be a car in Kenya and now back safe in US with good medical care . .. wheelchair bound to allow multiple breaks  to heel. Kenya you say? Wasn't there a travel warning?  YES... mine came  even before the U S State Dept issued one.  Boys!
I began a new piece for myself.. but have put on hold til my own spirits raise. A few years back... I created a mountain lion piece called Winter Hunt. I loved that piece now owned by another.  I have long wanted to create a Summer Hunt and have begun.  It is in infancy here and will not likely get a lot of coverage here but I am liking what I see so far.
 In the meantime, My grandkids are visiting and I was taken by these bird beauties. Dear Kaley is 15.. both a scholar and athlete, budding artist, and a mighty pretty young lady.
Max is 6, athletic and interested in everything new.  Pretty handsome boy too. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Less is More Quilting

This is a small piece thats all about honoring this deceased young man. Even at 24... one can pass of a heart attack. Jason loved to drum.. so he is seated at his drums here... but whatever I do in the quilt plan... it is NOT to draw attention to the drums..
I layered 2 battings for this... wool/poly blend on the front, cotton/poly behind.  I wanted the surface loft of wool and the weight of cotton so this would hang a bit more solid.

I secured Jason and other parts with a very fine monofilament. I don't want to see any thread work on Jason.  I need to keep it simple so the soft monochromatic image can speak for itself.   I did however want to fill the grey background and chose a triangular scroll in thread to match the background... 1) the triangle scroll suggests rapid movement which seemingly aligns with what a drummer does 2) the matching grey thread doesn't demand alot of attention.
The outer chevron fabric is only there to support the central image. Sometimes, the fabric gives guidance on would-be quilting.  I followed every other chevron zig zag to guide stitching.. again in very fine monofilament. No real attention is demanded by this method.

After quilting... I square up my quilt by marking and stitching on the marked line.  This minimizes thread pop ups after trimming.

I then trimmed appx 1/8" outside the marked/stitched line.
I usually face my art quilts but this one will be best supported with traditional binding... albeit it a 1/4" finished binding that can be rolled to the back and monofilament stitched in the ditch.  

 All done... sleeve added and delivered to the owner.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Insetting a large image

It's been quiet on this blog... I'm fine... it's my off the wall hubby who has had me distracted.  He's been on a walkabout in Kenya ( he marches to his own drum) and was injured... (hit by a vehicle so I've been a nervous wreck). He finally got the medical care he needed and is on his way back to the U.S.... complete with cast.  I'm already feeling bad for the airline stewards who are dealing with him on  4 different long flights.
So back to business...
What to do when you want to inset a larger that normal image using reverse appliqué.   First..  Here's where we went with this... then how we got there.
I had painted a requested monochromatic commission piece of a young man with a tragic life ending( heart attack at 24) .  The original ink'd image is 15 1/2 " around which I have ink'd about a 1/3 inch  circular fillet of black. Then, the circular image ( now appx 16 1/3 " diameter) is to be reverse appliqued beneath a charcoal /light grey chevron fabric.   So, how to get it inset with  the precision 1/4 inch black fillet??!!
I first ironed/ starched the painted fabric and the chevron fabric. 
Looking from the back side of the painted image here... 
The chevron fabric with a precut small slit in the very center is secured to the painted image ( right side of painted image to wrong side of chevron fabric). 
From the wrong side of the painted image, I used my 1/4" foot to guide me in stitching a 1/4 inch running stitch  precisely1/4 inch from the original painted image.  This stitching in white will later be removed as I work from the front doing a reverse circular appliqué.  This step is what allows real precision in this appliqué effort. 
The rest is slow but important to this piece. .. After I removed a circular piece of the chevron fabric where I left enough chevron fabric to turn under for hand appliqué, I began 
 the slow process of  pulling out a few stitches of the white thread seen previous and carefully appliquéing.
The process in a nutshell... 
TRIM, REMOVE 4 or 5 white stitches,  STITCH, REPEAT.. til the circle is complete.
This was a slow step but more than worth it in my view. Not yet 100% complete in this pic but more than half .  Once the inset was 100% complete... I trimmed excess white fabric from the back and the new top became ready to quilt. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Aviary Therapy

I spent yesterday packing and mailing quilts,  and delivering a serious  commissioned quilt  to it's owner such that I needed some play time. I haven't been able to play for a few weeks so a small painted piece emerges below.  It was total pleasure to do something I felt like doing rather than had to. Bet you all understand.  He's small, but kind of cute.  I love working with transparent inks on fabric.

This was made even more fun through painting on the backside of a piece of Stonehenge fabric.  The   soft mottled beginnings help give this piece a loose feeling.